Sustainability in Action

Even the smallest actions make a huge difference in fostering a culture that embraces sustainability. The High Plains Library District (HPLD), serving most of Weld County CO, understands how libraries can be leaders in sustainability by setting a good example for other business to embrace ideas and opportunities that help reduce consumption of resources and move our community to be more equitable, healthy and economically viable.

The High Plains Library District minimizes its impact on the environment by making efforts to reduce consumption of resources, use resources more wisely, and provide the community with information and opportunities to do the same. Here’s how the HPLD is leading by example:

Solar Panels

Solar Panels have been installed on the roofs of 2 libraries in the District, Centennial Park and Farr Libraries. The solar panels will provide almost 20% of each building’s electrical consumption yet did not require the HPLD to invest any capital in the project. Instead, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was utilized which is possible with Xcel Energy’s rebate program for renewable energy and a 20-year contract with SolarCity, a leading solar power and energy efficiency service provider with operations centers in Denver and Parker. SolarCity installs, owns, and maintains the panels while HPLD buys the electricity for the same or lower cost than traditional power plant generated electricity.

View each library’s energy consumption and solar production:

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

The Farr Regional Library (1939 61st Ave. in Greeley) features an Eaton Level 1/Level 2 charging station that is enabled with a Chargepoint interface. The Riverside Library and Cultural Center (3700 Golden Street in Evans) features a Level II charger.  Chargepoint will allow users to charge their credit cards ($1 per hour) for payment, and provide technical support for end users. Set up an account at for easy access to the EV charging stations.

Green Buildings

Our facilities are environmentally responsible and resource efficient in design, construction, operation, maintenance, and renovation. A multi-branch project to reduce energy consumption and improve occupant comfort resulted in a reduction of more than 1.2 million pounds of CO2 emissions which is the equivalent of removing 115 cars from our roads or powering 50 homes for a year.

Green Team

Employees with an interest in environmental sustainability are encouraged to be part of the HPLD’s Green Team. The Green Team meets regularly to discuss and implement ideas that support the District’s Sustainability Statement. Because the Green Team is internally driven, we are able to realize green initiatives that matter to our employees.

Sometimes it’s the small things that have a big impact on our environment. We understand that even small initiatives can make a big difference, so we also provide the public with a way to recycle household batteries and unwanted books. Our libraries also feature bicycle repair stations to encourage using an alternative mode of transportation to our locations.

Contributor Eric Ewing is the Director of Human Resources & Facilities at High Plains Library District.